F800GS Forks?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by moriver, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. moriver

    moriver Lets Go That Way?

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    Hello all

    I am a looking at replacing my KLR 650 with a F800GS. The KLR does it all, just a little rough I guess. I do mostly slab and gravel riding. I am trying to figure out what all the buz is about the forks on the GS needing upgraded? Whats up with that? My KLR has stock forks, I am a big guy and have no problem. So whats the real deal? Do they have a real problem or is it just a common upgrade? Much thanks all and have a good one.
    #1
  2. DoWorkSon

    DoWorkSon Been here awhile

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    I think the main gripes are that the suspension is too soft and non adjustable... My F8 is fairly new and within the first few days of riding I noticed that it was really soft to the point where I had to change my whole way of riding(coming from a sport bike with adjustable/stiffer suspension....

    There are some upgrades ranging from $500-$1800... My next upgrade will be the Traxxion kit, unless Ohlins comes out with a cheaper one
    #2
  3. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

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    Yeah they are just soft, i dont think it is a common upgrade though, so people just bitch about it. Ive never had a real problem with them, you just deal.
    #3
  4. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    It depends on what you are doing with your bike.

    For daily commute on pavement there not a problem at all. You just have an annoying diving when you're hitting the front brake.
    For doing some mild offroad and back road sections just put some progressive springs in them. That's what I'm planning on doing next spring. some hyperpro will cost like 150€ and the diving will go away.

    for some serious off road stuff you'll probably want some adjustable ones.
    #4
  5. Casejeep

    Casejeep Been here awhile

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    Ive done 500miles on dirt in Death Valley with stock suspension. it wasnt the end of the world.
    #5
  6. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

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    for those that discount the improvement of upgrading the forks

    Yes you can ride most places with the stock forks. they are soft and tend to be harsh for 2 reasons, 1 they bottom out 2 they hydrolock

    yes the hyperpro/ heavier oil does give some improvement (no personal experience)

    going to the traxxion forks was a night/day improvement. IMHO there is no bigger bang for the buck on this bike.:D

    there is a local dirt/gravel road that was brutal at 35mph, it felt like a jackhammer. After I put the Traxxion Forks (their "Extreme Offroad" setup) I had to slow down at 50MPH, I had to look to see if the road had been grade recently it was so smooth. I find even on pavement I am willing to ride 15-20mph faster:evil

    I agree with Loutre, " It depends on what you are doing with your bike."

    BUT I probably wouldn't spend the money until you really want to, it is not a cheap upgrade
    #6
  7. moriver

    moriver Lets Go That Way?

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    Alright thanks all..That sounds about what I was hoping for. With my round shape and slow riding style it sounds like a non issue.
    #7
  8. sorebutt

    sorebutt Long timer

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    You will think you died and went to heaven when you compare the KLR to the 800 forks. While they aren't the best they are 10x better than the KLR forks. I've had mine from Alaska to Moab and they work fine. I wouldln't think of spending the money for an upgrade. There are too many other things to spend the money on that would do more good.
    #8
  9. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Having completely replaced the front end I can sum it up this simply:

    Best move ever.

    Night and day difference. Completely different bike to ride over rocks and ruts. The old set up was shit, just shit. Anyone that says different wouldn't know their asshole from their ear hole.

    Average speed over rocky trails has increased dramatically, but the fatigue and stress associated with riding 2 up on 4x4 tracks has dropped to the "enjoyable" level rather than the "work" level it was. It runs straight over the top of almost anything without getting upset. If the bash plate will clear it, you just ride over it. Dead simple.

    If you haven't changed one and ridden it over a good variety of terrain, then you just don't know what you're talking about. That's it in a nutshell.

    It's a nice bike standard, it's a fucking great bike once you bin the front end. Make sure you include a steering damper. The best improvement you can make on a dollar for dollar basis.

    [​IMG]

    Wifey resting in shade drinking iced water due to heat stress after 250kms of rocky firetrails and 4x4 tracks during 32 C day, just prior to storm breaking and temp dropping to 11.5 C. Sat on 100kph on open firetrail to Mtn highway, then 140 to nearest town (54kms away) to get out of the storm (and refuel). Absolutely shits on the way it used to handle. It would have been a handful in deep gravel at 70 or 80 before, now I sit on 100 and am amazed at how stable it is.
    #9
  10. Steveman

    Steveman Been here awhile

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    In fact its a non issue. Fully agree with Casejeep. Am still on standard set up, can drag footpegs on pavement and most mid size sportsbike are only faster if the rider is better. Does not happen too often :D

    In the rough the fork bottoms out quickly. But so what. I let it bang and adjust my riding style to it as far as this is possible. No problems so far. I admit that I think about a 300 buck mod (stiffer springs and differnt oil) which would make sense but I am lazy so maybe I just keep going :freaky
    #10
  11. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    On gravel and pavement if the KLR was OK the GS will be fine:lol3
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  12. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I actually preferred the KLR suspension. I wish I knew how good the F800gs suspension was, I would not have spent the money.:D

    You won't know how bad they were until you find how good this bike can be with decent suspension.
    #12
  13. picard

    picard engage!

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    +1

    #13
  14. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    You always get the "I've ridden to hell and back on standard suspension and it's just fine".....and as much as they think they have found the limits and can ride around them.....no....just....no.

    I'm aware you a real self appointed adventure Gods....but....if you haven't done it you don't know shit.

    My 75 year old mother has driven millions of kms. She knows all there is to know about driving.
    #14
  15. Steveman

    Steveman Been here awhile

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    :lol3

    Cool. The TO talks about "slab and gravel riding".

    Meaning I havent done it on the F8 does not mean I havent done it on other bikes. Depends what you want to do with the bike. For my Italian Alps tour (80/20) the standard forks and TKC 80's are good enough. And for the tuff stuff I hop on the BRP (or EXC)

    And seriously, me as a god I would never ride to hell, amen :D

    :freaky
    #15
  16. killianm

    killianm Been here awhile

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    I had an 04 KLR and thought the front end was mushy. I put in progressive springs and 15 or 20 weight oil. I liked that set up. The GS tends to dive on hard braking but I'm getting used to it. The suspension is OK but not great IMHO. I would like to get into some more off road stuff and adjustment up front would be nice. The spring and oil change is just a compromise for a great system. It is pretty cheap to do!!
    #16
  17. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    This is the issue with the forks:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That is the cartridge tube. When BMW says non adjustable they mean it, the ends are crimped.

    KLR's have damping rod forks. A rod/plunger forces oil through fixed holes in cartridge tube. low tech but easily modified. Thinner/thicker oil viscosity effect how fast the oil flows through the tube. You have cheap options like cartridge emulators.

    The 800 has a compression valve crimped into the bottom. It uses washers for the oil to pass through. The oil flows around the washer and/or bends them. The viscosity benefit is limited. Too light an oil and it gets past the washer easily. Too heavy a viscosity and it will force the washers to bend too much/ too quick. The proper fix is change the stack of washers.

    Usually changing springs will create a need to change the resistance in the compression valve. You can't do that with these.

    This is a cheap solution that causes the owners to spend more than necessary to fix. At least Triumph and KTM have better suspension guru's
    or accountants are not part of the design team.

    My first ride of substance was Death/Saline Valley. I survived it also, though not much fun. A dinged rim (22psi) and a tank slapper between Race track and Lippincott. I am chasing an ADV rider on a Wee Strom and losing.


    Not a lot of options in 2009. I did the springs/oil and later the first available cartridge tube. I fixed the abrupt throttle and moved the COG forward a little with suspension adjustments. That made a significant change in this bike.

    I now have a stabilizer, but it was the last modification and not a requirement.

    Yes I can ride it faster, but it is also easier to ride. Mine is a very stable bike.
    #17
  18. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

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    You said it better than me, for me it is faster because its easier to ride.

    I'm starting to think about the steering damper, a roof on my house took priority of more farkles.
    #18
  19. Camel ADV

    Camel ADV aka Oso Blanco

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    I just spoke to a friend who competed at the GS Trophy In South America on a 2013 F8. He personally owns (and rides the wheels off) an 09 F8. He said the new WP forks are a huge improvement over the Marzocchi's on the 08-12 bikes. He said they still aren't as good as 48mm WP units but definitely better.
    #19
  20. Gundy

    Gundy Been here awhile

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    So does that mean the dive isn't as bad? It's really hard to find a review of the new 2013 anywhere, but people seem to be hinting that BmW at least partially fixed the fork performance.
    #20